RESPECT TO SHERYL SWOOPES | There's one thing true in this world of lies, and it's the fact that Rivalries has decent burgers. I'm not kidding here. For a sports bar with roughly eight dozen TVs, you'd think they'd be content to stay in their lane, serving up requisitely tasty yet forgettable pub food to bros whose palates have been too mossed over by foamy IPAs to care what it tastes like. But damn, it seems like they actually care about the nobility of that burger. Another thing they care about, one infers, is LGBTQ rights — another big win in our book. Tonight, as Pride nears its apex of weekend parties, join emcee Shane Diamond (who wrote an essay in last week's issue) for a one-off LGBTQ trivia night, complete with foamy prizes. Word is you should study 21st-century musicals, out athletes, and the history of Pride itself.
6-9 pm | FREE | Rivalries, 10 Cotton St., Portland | www.prideportland.org
PRAY TELL | Last week's sold out performance of The Moth Mainstage at the State Theatre tells me the city knows how to appreciate a thick, solid yarn. Born in 1997 by a dude in Georgia, that storytelling series is now the most notorious in the land. Meanwhile, collaborative efforts between the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, The Corner in Lewiston, and Brunswick's Frontier launched a Maine-based telling series SoundBites last year (a season which included a story from this humble writer). And in the spirit of understanding that you've got to start somewhere, the place they've started from — a season of award-winning storytellers selling out the theater space at the always-excellent Frontier — is hard to beat. Join them tonight to hear seasoned stories from telling vets Sandi Marx and Dr. Phyllis Blackstone, plus Maine personalities including community organizer Joey Brunelle, journalist Marco Aviles, and South Korean-born culture-worker Tae Chong, telling stories on the theme of "New to Town."
7:30 pm | $9 | Frontier, 14 Maine St., Brunswick | www.explorefrontier.com
SEVERAL FRIENDLIES | Kinda been pluggin' 'em every week, but these free Thursday night shows at Geno's are really hitting the spot. Really kissing the young rock fan right in the kisser. Presented by upstart tape label Are You Kidding Me?, tonight's show merges the lives of those who like the band Giant Knife, who like the band Ossalot, and who like the band All Night — they gotta meet each other! Giant Knife is a propulsive wave of slack-catharsis; the trio Ossalot, ex of BABE and the Rattlesnakes, play quixotically beautiful minimalist post-punk indie rock; and All Night dredges up the buried organ of doom-metal. You'll remember these days somehow!
9 pm | FREE | Geno's Rock Club, 625 Congress St, Portland | https://www.facebook.com/AYKMtapes/
RESPECT THE FORM | Seems a show belonging to another era, but we're into it. Tonight, musician Seth Warner and his band presents the entirety of Jackson Browne's cool soft-rock album, Running On Empty, a record which rock critic Robert Christgau at the time said to have "tapped the culture's circa-1977 sense that it was running on empty, feeling like a trashed Holiday Inn room." Relatable! Seriously, though, Warner and company have shown an admirable probity learning and performing other albums of merit — Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, Neil Young's Tonight's the Night, Lyle Lovett's Pontiac — and while these selections aren't exactly obscure, they're sincere, and it's clear he's driven by other factors than music trends. In other words, there may not be another chance to go this deep into Jackson Browne. Featuring a band that includes Portland singer Susanne Gerry, this performance is one-night-only.
| $15 adv, $20 day of | 8 pm | St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St, Portland | http://www.stlawrencearts.org/
ALERIC'S WORLD | Need a low-key reprieve? I don't know anyone in town who wouldn't benefit from seeing a performance from Mousa. The performance alias of Vince Nez, the multi-instrumentalist plays a set at Blue tonight at 7 pm. Dude's got a lot of good ideas about how to do music. Treat it like a restorative power hour for the soul.
7 pm | FREE | Blue, 650A Congress St, Portland | www.portcityblue.com
ARM YOURSELF | There are innumerable ways to approach Pride, and today's all-day LGBTQ+ Health Conference presents a knowledge-share on the theme of trauma and resiliency. Hosted by the Health Equity Alliance and dealing with issues of primary care, transgender health, and other themes related to wellness and security, this event includes a presentation by keynote speaker Sandy James from the National Center of Transgender Equality. Tickets run $35 to $50, with continuing education credits (CME/CEU) available.
7:45 am-5 pm | $50 (scholarships available) | University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St., Portland | https://www.mainehealthequity.org/
GOOD WERK IF U CAN GET IT | The Pride Portland folks have whipped up an exciting calendar of events, but many of the month's best parties and shows fall outside of that network. Tonight, we're blessed with a dance party and drag show starring Thorgy Thor of Rupaul's Drag Race alongside luminous Portland queens Stepmother, Cherry Lemonade, and Dirty Money Dana. It's all set to sounds from retrofuturist synth-rock group Superorder and DJ Kttnmttnz, and also boasts a return of Aquarius Funkk, the alias of former Portland resident Lilia Garcelon, who is a star. Part of a series of parties under the banner Chemtrail, for which organizers have stated to be stoked on reappropriating typically "straight bars" — a fine idea.
8 pm | $20-25 | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com
ORIGINATOR | A day before the broader Pride parade, ride with the Portland Dyke March in their 12th annual event leading the charge. Later, it's a gloriously broad evening of themes and flavors, so tonight's Portland Queer Showcase, on the earlier side of things, can get you started right. Put on by the Portland Maine Dyke March Collective, this gathering at MECA shows poetry, dance, and song from songwriter Monique Bidwell, dance performer Aquarius Funkk, dance troupe Vivid Motion, budding young artist Sam Barwell, Nikolaas Mirage, and more.
5:30 pm | FREE | Monument Sq, Portland | $3-5 donation | 7:30 pm | Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland | http://www.mainedykemarch.com/
PROCEED NAZARETH | The stoner-sludge band Weedeater swings through town tonight. The 20-odd-year project of former Buzzov*en frontman Dixie Collins, Weedeater's dropped five albums of bluesy, stripped-down post-metal, kind of Sabbath meets Eyehategod. They're up with Maine metal dogs Sylvia, Seattle's Serial Hawk, and Canadian quartet Black Wizard. The aural equivalent of dipping your hand in motor oil and holding it thumbs down until it dries. | 8:30 pm | $15 adv, $18 day of | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org
ENPURPLE YOUR LIFE | As you age, it becomes imperative to learn new things to do with your hands. Learn the basics of traditional Japanese resist dyeing with a workshop presented by the Bayside fiber arts outfit PortFiber, whose artist emissary Amelia Poole guides students through binding, stitching, and pole-wrapping techniques for cotton and silk. They're working specifically with indigo hues today — which, like, no complaints there; indigo is lovely. This is a day-long class — and perhaps steep at $120 — but it's a skill your hands won't forget.
10 am-4 pm | $120 | PortFiber, 50 Cove St., Portland | www.portfiber.com
ANXIETY OF INFLUENCE | I can never forget the moment in that film Garden State — which I was coerced into watching in college by a pretty, wealthy girl from L.A. — when bratty, beautiful Natalie Portman shakes off her headphones in a hospital waiting room and informs a yearning Zach Braff that she's listening to ... the Shins. My memory is imperfect here, but it seemed a moment designed to illustrate some mysterious and chronically misunderstood trait about Portman's character, or that she herself felt chronically misunderstood, which would of course yoke us along with Braff's mounting interest in her. But then, she was listening to the Shins, a band no one in America has ever had problems understanding or sharing with broader society. The viewer, at that moment, can also hear the Shins performing some song I can't be bothered to look up (but it was definitely on that era-defining soundtrack), and the whole scene seemed to flow like an ad for some product I stridently did not want to buy, a/k/a my own generation. Needless to say, the Shins have enjoyed many years of success since — and I'm no longer in touch with that girl from college. Now less of a band than a summer-y songwriting project by 47-year-old frontman James Mercer, the Shins sound admittedly more adventurous and less precious these days. And though my personal opinions are shared here merely for color, you'll be among friends helping them celebrate their lovely-enough fifth album and first in five years, titled Heartworms, at a spirited set at Thompson's Point tonight. | 5:30-8 pm | $42-47 | Thompson's Point, 4 Thompson's Point, Portland | www.statetheatreportland.com
COMIC LOVE | With over 100 artists, designers, and writers, the Maine Comic Arts Festival convenes in the great halls of the Portland Public Library today, showing a dizzying number of artists from Maine and beyond exhibiting books in the library's Lewis Gallery, Atrium, and elsewhere. Admission is free; check Casablanca Comics for a nifty guide to the whole thing.
10 am-5 pm | FREE | Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Way, Portland | http://www.mainecomicsfestival.com/
BE U | Today, of course, is Pride proper, which typically means you can witness the most joyful public moment in Portland city life alongside half the city. Coursing a path from Monument Square to Deering Oaks Park, the Pride Parade starts at 10:30 am. I'm tempted to include a political statement about the times, but you already get it.
10:30 am | FREE | Monument Square, Portland | www.prideportland.org
ROOF DUDES | At the newly revamped and palatially big Bayside Bowl, join the Portland Bach Festival for "Bachtails," a pop-up show of string performances scattered throughout the lanes. Not sure if it's a Brooklyn-inspired paradise or some quasi-Victorian fever dream brought to life — a night of mini-classical concerts, bowling, and rooftop cocktails — but we're sure it'll find a foothold in your weird set of interests nonetheless. If you're someone who bowls better to the Goldberg Variations than you do Lady Gaga, this is your night. Kicks off a nine-day Portland Bach Festival, a Portland original.
5:30-8 pm | FREE | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland | http://portlandbachfestival.org/
SPIRITED CONVEYANCE | Look to our feature section for the breakdown on PortFringe, the homegrown festival of dramatic and experimental performances from near and far surging through Portland's arts district now through June 24. | variable pricing | www.portfringe.com
Experience the surreal housewife fantasy that is Magic Men Live this week at the Merrill Auditorium.
HARDBODY JONES | Billed as a ladies night for the ages, tonight's Magic Men appearance of cut, muscular dancing dudes banks on a similar mainstream housewife fantasy to 50 Shades of Grey. Which, no shame there. For a ticket price of $41-81, see these remarkably ripped male bodies in various American archetypes — the Country Boy, the Latin Lover, The Rook, The Bad Boy, the Chocolate Boy Wonder, as they call them, and more — acting and dancing out various PG-13-level fantasy scenarios, surreally on the Merrill Auditorium stage. | 8 pm | $41-81 | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland | www.porttix.com
VIEWS | Decompress that monster weekend with a thought-provoking and vital lecture tonight, as Portland Director of Advocacy Julie Larry and artist John Sundling (of the installation Ghost Fence on Franklin Arterial — see page 20 for more) speaking about "The Impact of Portland's Urban Renewal" on the city's immigrant communities of the 20th century. Put on by Greater Portland Landmarks and TEMPOart, an organization prompting temporary public art installations throughout the city.
6 pm | $20 | Franklin Arterial & Congress St., Portland | www.greaterportlandlandmarks.org
FULL PARTY | The legendary Michael Franti (of Spearhead and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy) having already sold out Thompson's Point tonight, we'd have to point you to One Longfellow Square instead, where noteworthy band The Jeremiahs, a four-piece traditional folk project that's risen to the head of the Irish folk class, play a set of traditionals and originals.
7 pm | $15 adv, $20 day of | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | www.onelongfellowsquare.com
MAKE PLANS | Jane Jacobs's 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities is still required reading for anyone who thinks seriously about city planning and how to live in a society. Scratch that, anyone who spends any time outside, ever. Tonight, the documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a film about the work of the late Manhattan-based activist and writer, screens at SPACE Gallery, where Portlanders can learn lessons and best practices about how to fight for the soul of their own city.
7 pm | $8 | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St, Portland | www.space538.org
PIZZA PARTY | These warm summer evenings we've been enjoying call for cold beers and patio hangs. Outdoor seating has been available at Slab, and this night offers a chance to combine those seasonal pleasures with their pillowy Sicilian pies, and the sweet organ sounds of the Micromasse trio. Organist Peter Dugas, guitarist Max Cantlin, and drummer Chris Sweet will kick off Slab's Summer Music Series with their reliably delightful instrumental jazz performance.
6 pm | FREE | Slab, 25 Preble St., Portland | https://www.micromasse.com
LOOKING AHEAD | Next week brings us what we deserve, a Portland Food Festival, meant to highlight the growing number of food entrepreneurs working in and outside the traditional restaurant industry.
Latest from Nick Schroeder
- A Man and His Logo â€” Spose drops fifth album 'Good Luck With Your Life'
- 8 Days A Week: Decolonization Lessons, Coal Studies, and Girl Talk
- Burn This Album â€” KGFREEZE's Scorching 'Scapegoat'
- John Sundling's 'Ghost Fence' Conjures Portland Past and Future
- How Fake Is This? â€” Three Theories on Holly Seeliger's 'Zoon Politikon'